2022 presents new challenges for your sales teams. Here are three top challenges you’ll face and how you can navigate them.
Americans are launching new businesses this year—more than 400,000 applications were filed in January alone. While that’s a hopeful sign of resiliency in the business world, your team still faces challenges.
Your sales team still needs to make a connection with and build trust with your audience. You build on those trusting relationships to generate qualified leads, but then you need to connect with those key stakeholders to close the deal. None of these challenges are impossible, but they take time, strategic vision, and tenacity to ensure that you’re successful.
Below, we’ll look at the top three challenges your sales team will face in their key roles for your small business in 2022. We’ll discuss what those challenges mean, how to face them, and how you and your team can become stronger, more resilient, and more motivated this year.
With a foundation of trust, you can foster a strong relationship with your clients. They’ll listen to your pitch, and (hopefully) buy your products and services.
But, a Gartner survey found that 12% of your sales professional peers identify their top challenge as “establishing trust with buyers” (full research available to Gartner subscribers). So, why is it such a challenge?
Buyers these days are savvy and digitally engaged, so you can speak their language. But you also face their growing skepticism and ever-present competition. They’ve seen and experienced both positive and negative interactions with online sales reps, but that also means they could easily be courted and swayed by your competitors if they’re able to build that trust.
It’s more important than ever that you reach your audience where they are. It’s that authenticity and level of regular interaction that demonstrates the real value of your products and services:
- Reach out and make a connection as your way of demonstrating that you will go above and beyond what your competitors can offer.
- Demonstrate why your customer matters. Speak to their specific needs and concerns.
- Show them how passionate you are about delivering the best products and services for their needs.
For more on how to build trust in marketing and sales, check out “The Value of Emotional Marketing: Why Appealing to Rationality Won’t Cut It.”
It’s probably not a huge surprise that your sales team faces the challenge of generating quality leads. It’s one of the focal points for a sales team, and an evergreen challenge. A Gartner survey found that 39% of sales managers say they just don’t generate enough quality leads from marketing efforts (full research available to Gartner clients).
Of course, when you spend your time and resources on unqualified leads, you not only have fewer resources to invest in generating more leads, but you also miss out on a wealth of revenue opportunities.
So what can you do? Lead generation software can help your sales team not only manage leads, but identify high-quality leads. Check out “Category Compare: Lead Generation vs. Lead Nurturing” to learn more about how these tools can help you identify the best leads and save time for your sales team.
You face gatekeepers every day, and it’s a struggle. In fact, according to Gartner, 70% of companies face roadblocks in their efforts to connect with key stakeholders virtually (full research available to Gartner clients). In the past, your sales team might have attempted a more direct, in-person approach, particularly for local prospects. Unfortunately, as you’ve no doubt noticed, times have changed.
It’s 2022, which means that virtual selling is key to the success and growth of your company. If it’s all online and removed from direct contact and interaction, you’re somewhat limited in the channels you can use to communicate on a one-on-one basis.
It takes some creative imagination to find and connect with decision-makers virtually, but it’s not impossible. As a small business, you should try these approaches to get more face-time with decision-makers:
- Create ultra-personalized emails by customizing the salutation, pre-text header, custom images, and personalized videos. Make use of segmentation, milestones, retargeting, and/or timing to reach very specific audiences.
- Reach out directly to your audience via your social channels. You can use mentions, target with hashtags, offer freebies and discounts, share your story, interact with and follow-back your audience, and showcase your customers.
- Follow up with your audience, even if you’re tempted to give up after the first promotional placement or distribution. Even if you just follow up with a second email, you could experience a 21% response opportunity.
Want more sales resources?
We’ve given you resources to overcome the top three challenges your sales team will face this year. However, as a small-business leader, you’ll still face innumerable challenges across your organization every day.
These posts offer further tips to support your needs as a business leader leading a sales team to success: